Several different factors increase your chances of developing high blood pressure. Family history, smoking, drinking alcohol, and unhealthy weight are all things that you should carefully monitor to assess your risk. You can also implement lifestyle changes in order to keep your blood pressure healthy and low and improve your circulation, such as regular exercise. The American Heart Association suggests doing at least two and a half hours of physical activity each week at a moderate intensity level, which you should break down into smaller sessions of time throughout the week. Blood pressure is best lowered by aerobic exercise: repetitive and rhythmic movements using the larger muscle groups of your body.
Although studies show that high-intensity workouts such as sprints or marathon running can actually increase chances of hyptertension, several short walks or jogging stints throughout the week can prevent significant spikes in blood pressure.
Ballet, tap, hip-hop, interpretative, salsa, zumba, and even the waltz — you have endless types of dance to learn and enjoy. Dance classes are usually available at your local gym, dance studio, or community center, and you can always utilize YouTube for online tutorials you can do at home. Not only will you be able to show off a new skill and potentially learn about a new culture, your cardiovascular health will thank you.
Swimming is a great way to keep your blood pressure healthy and low. The physical demands of swimming laps put less pressure on the heart than running and other aerobic workouts. In addition to lowering your heart rate, the resistance the water provides will help you build and develop muscle, and assist with arthritic and joint pain.
In addition to boosting bone density, toning muscles, and improving your mood, going on a hike in the great outdoors is also great for your heart. Regardless of age or ability, you can be sure to find a hike (or even just an outdoor nature walk) that is the right length and difficulty for you. If travelling to hiking destinations is too difficult, urban hikes are also an option. Just remember to stay hydrated, have a map, and use a walking stick or pole if you need assistance with balance and to help keep pressure off your joints.
Riding a bike puts less stress on your joints than going for a jog, and can be a fun and sustainable way to run errands, commute to and from work, or meet up with people for social occasions. Reports have shown that those who partake in cycling had about 15 percent fewer heart attacks than those who do not ride a bike. If the weather is not cooperating, consider getting a stationary bike or a stand for your normal bicycle, or joining a spin class at your local gym or fitness center.
All of these activities are excellent for keeping your cardiovascular health in check, and you can always feel free to increase or decrease the difficulty and frequency of these exercises according to what you and your doctor think is best.
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